SALEM — Janis Manning has the magic touch.
The woman should be in the Guinness Book of World Records.
For the fourth time, Manning has sold a winning ticket to a big raffle. In the past, she sold prize winners to Ben Arlander (twice) and Julianna Tache for the annual raffle run by The Foundation for Salem Public Education.
This week, she sold the $10,000 prize winner in the Shamrock Sweepstakes, a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem. Of the many tickets she sold for the Boys & Girls Club, the winner was split between her sister, Dina Merrill of Chicago, and her daughters, Jessica, 26, and Missy, 25. They are giving part of the proceeds back to the club.
Manning, who helps out a lot of local groups, even dressed up in a green leprechaun outfit to sell tickets. Maybe there is something to that "luck o' the Irish" thing.
It should come as no surprise that Greg Mortenson's talk has been sold out.
The amazing man from Montana, who has built 131 schools (and counting) in Afghanistan and Pakistan without any U.S. government aid, is coming here May 1 to accept The Salem Award.
Tickets for his appearance at Salem High (capacity 750) went on sale about a week ago and are already gone. Mortenson, of course, is hugely popular after the success of "Three Cups of Tea," the New York Times best-seller. His second book, "Stones into Schools," is a current best-seller.
Chairwoman Meg Twohey and the rest of the Salem Award Committee deserve a ton of credit for selecting and landing a recipient of Mortenson's stature.
While on the subject of making the world a better place, the Salem Peace Committee is holding a vigil Saturday to mark their opposition to the ninth anniversary of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and the eighth year of fighting in Iraq.